Announcing the Presidential Innovation Fellow Foundation
“The Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) program brings the principles, values, and practices of the innovation economy into government through the most effective agents of change we know: our people. This highly-competitive program pairs talented, diverse technologists and innovators with top civil-servants and change-makers working at the highest levels of the federal government to tackle some our nation’s biggest challenges. These teams of government experts and private-sector doers take a user-centric approach to issues at the intersection of people, processes, products, and policy to achieve lasting impact.” — http://www.whitehouse.gov/innovationfellows
A number of Presidential Innovation Fellows who have completed their Fellowship have created an non-profit support organization incorporated within the District of Columbia:
- To further the mission of the Presidential Innovation Fellows program (“PIF”) of bringing the principles, values, and practices of the innovation economy into government to tack the Nation’s biggest changes and to achieve a profound and lasting social impact; and
- To provide a conduit for nongovernmental support for the PIF program and its mission; and
- To serve as an alumni association for PIF Fellows, providing an avenue for PIF Fellows and their networks to continue contributing to solving challenges of national concern.
The Presidential Innovation Fellows Foundation (PIFF) is a member-governed corporation whose members have successfully completed six months as a Fellow and accept membership. The members elect the Board, which appoints officers to carry out the business of the PIFF as governed by the by-laws and the articles of incorporation. The Interim Board consists of Raphael Majma, Interim President, Robert L. Read, Interim Treasurer, Adam Riggs, Interim Secretary, Henry Wei, MD, and Sarah Allen.
The intention of the Interim Board is to run an election by the end of October to elect a permanent board. Board members serve a two-year term. Board terms will be staggered so that each year 2 or 3 Board positions will be open, except for the first year, in which 5 positions will be open.
The PIFF is an internet-based organization and most voting and meetings will be held electronically subject to rules established by the Secretary.
Our immediate plans are to support the Third Round of Innovation Fellows, who have recently begun their terms in Washington DC, and to leave the incoming Board well-positioned to carry on operations. In order to do this, we need to raise seed money to cover minor expenses such as creating a website and executing our first fundraising campaign.
The expense of paying the attorneys to perform the incorporation was financed by a loan from the Interim Board to the corporation that we hope to have repaid at such time that PIFF has sufficient funds both for that and to carry on its operations.
The future of the PIFF will be determined by the future Board, and ultimately its members. Some ideas that have already been discussed for the PIFF are:
- Telling the story of the program, both its successes and its failures.
- Recruiting aggressively future Fellows using channels unavailable to the White House.
- Supporting travel of former Fellows to train and inform active Fellows.
- Working to insure the durability of the PIF program.
- Supporting learning from other nations and teaching other nations based on the experience of the program.
- Supporting outreach to young people and segments of American society underrepresented in technology and government.